Bundle up and go long: A look back at the 2009 and 1976 West Finals in Regina

After a 10-year hiatus, the CFL West Final is returning to Regina.

November in Saskatchewan usually comes with cool expectations for the bundled masses heading to Mosaic Stadium, but forecasts are looking promising for the Riders vs. Bombers showdown on Sunday.

So let's hop into a time capsule and see how this year's weather compares to the division finals from decades past.

Scroll to continue with content
Ad

West Final — Nov. 17, 2019

It's 2019. Justin Trudeau is prime minister of Canada. Donald Trump is president of the United States. Notre Dame Cathedral burns in Paris; Venice floods after seeing its highest water levels in over 50 years. Game of Thrones wraps up its eighth and final season. 

It's November. Someone You Loved by Lewis Capaldi currently tops the Billboard charts. The final instalment of the Star Wars saga is about to hit theatres.

It has been a bitterly cold transition to fall with temperatures averaging four to seven degrees below the 30-year average. But there is an end in sight, and we appear to be on the way to a comparable forecast to the last time a West Final was played in Saskatchewan.

Temperatures should hit the mid-single digits Sunday afternoon with just a few clouds throughout the day. A few gusts of wind can be expected — especially around the stadium — but otherwise a relatively calm and quiet weather day. 

West Final — Nov. 22, 2009

It's 2009. Stephen Harper is prime minister of Canada. Barack Obama is president of the United States. The year starts with the incredible landing of US Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson River in New York. The King of Pop, Michael Jackson, dies, and Kanye West interrupts Taylor Swift's acceptance speech at the MTV VMAs.

The year ends with the James Cameron epic Avatar breaking box-office records. Fireflies by Owl City tops Billboard charts, and the Roughriders host the CFL's West Final in Regina for the first time in 33 years.

The Canadian Press
The Canadian Press

It's been a relatively warm November but there's a chill in the air to start the day on Nov. 22. Temperatures hit –11 C under a clear sky, with wind chills dipping into the minus teens. By the afternoon, the mercury climbs to an above-seasonal 4 C with sunshine and light winds. 

The Riders, under the direction of head coach Ken Miller and the arm of quarterback Darian Durant, go on to defeat the Calgary Stampeders 27-17, and book their ticket to the 97th Grey Cup in Calgary against the Montreal Alouettes.

The 2009 Grey Cup would forever be known for the infamous 13th-man incident. Als' kicker Damon Duval gets a second attempt at a game-winning field goal, which splits the uprights and breaks Rider Nation's heart.

West Final — Nov. 20, 1976

It is 1976. Pierre Trudeau is prime minister of Canada. The CN Tower in Toronto is completed and Apple is founded by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. Jimmy Carter is elected president of the United States and Montreal hosts the summer Olympic Games. 

It's late November, and Rocky is premiering in theatres; radios are playing Rod Stewart's No. 1 hit Tonight's the Night (Gonna Be Alright).

It's the morning of Saturday, Nov. 20, and Regina is buzzing as the Roughriders gear up to take on the Edmonton Eskimos at Taylor Field. It's a clear and crisp morning, temperatures sit at –10 C and snow is in the vicinity. 

Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press
Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press

By the afternoon, temperatures peak at 1 C under a cloudy sky. Winds pick up to 30 km/h, putting wind chills in the high minus single digits during the game. Light snow rolls in at 7 p.m. and continues through the night. 

The Riders, led by quarterback Ron Lancaster, would defeat the Eskimos 23-13 and move on to the 64th Grey Cup at  Exhibition Stadium in Toronto.

The Riders would ultimately go on to lose another heartbreaking Grey Cup in the dying seconds (I'm starting to sense a pattern) as Tom Clements connected with Tony Gabriel for a memorable 24-yard touchdown grab that came to be known as "The Catch."

What to Read Next

Back